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5 Ways to be a Badass in the Gym

SANO Editorial

Fitness has taken a turn for the strong-and we're all about it at SANO. In fact, following suit—and learning exactly how to be a badass—is at the top of our fitness goals as we start to think about the holiday season and New Year, New You.

But what is a badass? When you're a true badass, you really live your life like it's the only one you've got. You're not only in better shape, you're doing what you want for a living, you're having more fun, and you're more inspired and energized.

And the benefits are real. For one, when you're doing what you want and having more fun, you're likely happier. And researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health suggest happiness has huge effects on health-especially when it comes to the heart. In one study, they found that emotional vitality (defined as a sense of enthusiasm, hopefulness, and engagement in life) reduces the risk of coronary heart disease.  Checkout out our top 5 tips for being a badass.

Think Positively. Success starts with confidence, right? One of the biggest predictors of performance is self-efficacy, which is the belief that you can complete a task.  It’s all about that mind-body connection; strong mind equals a stronger body. If I have the expectation and the sense of a can-do attitude, you’ll be more likely to be able to do it.

Don’t Give a Damn. Another trademark of a badass: an "I don't give a f#ck" attitude. Do you think professional athletes like Tom Brady, Serena Williams and Tiger Woods pay attention to the haters? Research has found those who based their sense of self-worth on what others thought about them actually had lower health scores. And for those who didn’t give a f#ck what their peers thought were less likely to experience drug abuse, eating disorders and reported overall lower levels of stress. To adopt this way of thinking, it's about focusing on the things you can control and forgetting the things you can't. You can't do anything about the outcome of a race, but you can focus on your technique and breathing when you race.

Be a Risk Taker. A badass athlete is just someone who goes all-in.  Pick your role models then follow suit. The advantage of following the sports psychology principle of setting S.M.A.R.T. goals: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-oriented. Taking a totally unrealistic risk—like running a marathon when you’ve never completed a 10k—can be demoralizing if you fail. However taking risks and being successful can help your brain fine tune what's motivating you to reach your fitness goals in the first place.

Repetition is the Father of Boredom. In order to be a badass, you have to go out and try something new that you’ve been talking about doing but haven’t accomplished. And adding innovation to your training plan will actually increase your fitness gains. By switching up your workout routine, your muscularity and strength improve. We recommend checking out a boxing class at Rumble, throwing around some kettlebells at TruFusion or taking a hot yoga class at Yoga Vida.

Love Yourself. Do things regularly that you bring you joy often. When you look up sexy in a dictionary there should be a picture of a happy version of you!  Take time out to calm your mind every day, realize that beauty can not be defined, be patient by persistent, follow your passions and make certain to celebrate your wins no matter how big or small.

For those that are willing to adopt to that badass mindset, you are just flat out tougher than the rest of us!

How to Boost Your Libido, Stamina and Sex Appeal

SANO Editorial

Humanity has been obsessed over aphrodisiacs for thousands of years.  In ancient Egypt, couples ate wine-soaked lily flowers to boost passion. Some aphrodisiacs since then have been similarly less pleasant as the search for the best foods that increase libido and stamina is on.

Most aphrodisiacs have been proven useless, but that doesn’t stop mankind’s search for the ultimate love potion. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to boost your libido, energy, and passion without ingesting anything disgusting or dangerous.  Here is a list of our top foods to consumer to increase your libido and have an amazing sex life!

Basil.  The aroma of basil is said to increase sexual desire in men. Medieval prostitutes dabbed basil oil behind the ears to be seductive.  Inside the body, basil increases blood circulation everywhere including the sex organs. Pair this herb with pine nuts for a killer pesto that doubles as an aphrodisiac!

Ginseng. Ginseng can do wonders for your sex life. Researchers have found Korean red ginseng in particular improved sexual arousal in menopausal women. Ginseng has also been shown to improve sexual function in men.

Flaxseed. One of the foods that increase libido in women is flaxseeds. Flaxseeds contain phytoestrogens that act very similarly to female hormones that are linked to a healthy sex life. Flax can be beneficial for women who have low estrogen levels, such as those experiencing menopause. 

Hemp Seeds. Hemp seeds are an excellent source of magnesium, a mineral most Americans fall short in consuming. Magnesium not only helps regulate blood pressure, it also helps increase testosterone levels. 

Chia Seeds. Chia seeds are also some of the foods that increase male libido. These have been shown to boost testosterone naturally. It’s all thanks to the essential fatty acids that serve as building blocks for hormones. Testosterone is tied to feelings of power, motivation, well-being, and sex drive.

Garlic. Garlic is loaded with allicin—an active compound that increases blood flow—making everything extra sensitive to touch. It also stimulates blood circulation for stronger erections and greater endurance in the bedroom.  Just don’t forget the breath mints before heading to the bedroom!

Ginger. Ginger stimulates as an aphrodisiac for sex. It contains an essential oil that stimulates the body department and warms the blood. Ginger increases our libido and makes a greater desire for sex. It’s also a great ingredient to add to smoothies for digestive purposes.  

 Dark Chocolate. Dark chocolate helps release the same chemicals as those released during sex. Those feel-good chemicals will help build desire with your partner.  Choose chocolate made from 60-70 percent cocoa and eat 1-ounce servings.

Maca. In South America maca it's commonly used to boost fertility, even going by the nickname "the Peruvian Viagra”.  Maca enhances the psychology behind sex by helping you to effectively create sexual fantasies. Add a dash of the powdered root to your evening tea and you can thank us in the morning!

Goji Berries. Daily intake of goji berries led to increased testosterone levels in women and men, reduced stress levels, and increased mood making this antioxidant a triple-threat fruit. 

Red Wine. Red grapes are a good source of boron, which is a mineral that helps stimulate the production of both estrogen and testosterone.  A boost in estrogen and testosterone can send fresh energy to your sex organs and put you in the mood.  Just be careful, if you drink too much, it actually impedes arousal!

Plant-Based Protein. Both men’s health and women’s health can benefit from consuming plant-based protein, such as our organic premium plant-based protein, especially if they desire to enhance their sexual lives. Our expertly formulated vegan protein proteins include 4 of the top aphrodisiacs (flaxseed, hemp, goji berries and dark chocolate).  A diet high in plants enhances cardiovascular health keeping blood pressure at bay and reduces the risks of chronic diseases like diabetes, which may also contribute to erectile dysfunction.  Plant-based proteins can also help maintain proper hormone levels, especially for perimenopausal and menopausal women.

Deficiencies in vitamins and minerals can create fatigue, depression, and low energy levels that get in the way of passion and love. Eating well, maintaining a healthy weight, and exercising regularly also make a big difference in your sex life.

Why Too Much Cardio is Bad for You

SANO Editorial

Are you running, spinning, or swimming 3-5 times a week yet feeling tired, anxious, and having trouble falling asleep and sleeping through the night? Perhaps you may be overdoing cardio and should consider other forms of wellness so your body can feel more fueled. 

Research has indicated that cardio is not always that helpful for weight loss. Our bodies become used to the calorie deficiency and store the energy as fat to overcompensate. If your goals are to lose a few extra post-summer pounds, you may want to check out our tips in this article.

Replace Some Cardio with Weight Training.   Lifting weights and building muscle increases your basal metabolic rate, which accounts for 65–80% of calories burned daily. Boosting your basal metabolism also increases your capacity to burn fat for 24-plus hours—something cardio doesn’t do.  In other words, when you weight train, you continue burning fat after your workout is finished.

Eat a Balanced (Plant-Based) Diet.  Make sure you’re getting your daily intake of (plant-based) protein, healthy fats, and fiber (think greens), and try to avoid carbs, sugar, or alcohol after a workout. A juice or night at the bar can quickly undo your hard work by spiking your insulin and storing sugar as fat.  Consider a “Sober October” (or at a minimum try to cut your alcohol intake in half)!

Intermittent Fasting.  Intermittent fasting is an umbrella term that covers various diets that cycle between a set amount of time of fasting and non-fasting periods. There are a number of ways to actually perform intermittent fasting or time-restricted fasting, but the easiest and most common involve taking advantage of your natural overnight fast.  By skipping breakfast and delaying your first meal a number of hours past the 12-hour mark from your meal the prior night, you are entering your body into a “fasted” state causing your body to refuel on its stored body fat.

Introduce Restorative Exercise.  Restorative exercise like yoga and pilates both strengthen and lengthen the muscles and connective tissue and can actually aid in weight loss. It also reduces stress and cortisol (one of the major reasons for weight gain and hormone imbalance) and the meditation helps brain cognitive.

As it turns out, more is not better when it comes to cardio. In fact, too much of it—like too much of anything—can slowly kill you.

How to Lose Lower Belly Fat for Good

SANO Editorial

With today marking the first day of August, we want to make sure you look your best self in your swimsuit "out east". Not only do we want you looking good for the balance of Summer (and beyond), but we also want to decrease your risk for diseases like type 2 diabetes and heart disease. For this reason, losing tummy fat has massive benefits for your health and can help you live longer.  If you want to trim some excess love handles around your waistline, then you should take some steps to get rid of it even if you're not very heavy overall. Thankfully, there are a few proven scientific strategies that have been shown to target the fat in the tummy area. Implementing these effective strategies will have you looking like your best self for your next picture on the 'gram.  Here are five evidence-based ways to help you slim down showing noticeable results in just a few days.  

Avoiding Sugar and Sugar-Based Beverages. Added sugar—which is made up of half glucose and half sucrose--is very unhealthy.  Studies have proven that sugar has uniquely harmful effects on metabolic health. When you eat added sugar, the liver gets overloaded with fructose and is forced to turn it into fat. Numerous studies have shown that excess sugar, mostly due to the large amounts of fructose, can lead to increased accumulation of fat in the belly and liver. Some experts believe that this is the primary mechanism behind sugar's harmful effects on health. Liquid sugars are even worse since liquid calories aren't "categorized" by the brain in the same fashion as solid calories.  Said differently, when you drink sugar-sweetened beverages you end up eating more total calories increasing the risk of obesity. Make a commitment to minimize the amount of sugar in your diet, and consider completely eliminating sugary drinks, including sodas, fruit juices, high-sugar sport drinks and alcoholic drinks that contain sugary syrups. This is not to be confused with whole fruit, which are extremely healthy and provide an abundance of fiber that mitigates the negative effects of fructose.  Being mindful to the amount of excess sugar consumption can decrease the amount of excess fat in the belly. 

Cut the Carbs. Restricting carbs from your diet is a proven by numerous studies to be an effective way to lose belly fat. It’s very simple, when carbs are cut in our diets, our appetite and weight goes down. Low-carb diets also lead to quick reductions in water weight, which gives people near instant results if they have an upcoming beach vacation or a best friend’s wedding.  By avoiding the deadly refined carbs (sugar, candy, white bread, etc.) results can be noticed in just 1-2 days, especially if you keep your protein intake high. If you need to lose weight fast, then consider dropping your carbs down to 50 grams per day putting your body into a state of ketosis. This will stave off your appetite and making your body start burning primarily fats for fuel.

Consume More Protein. Protein is the most important macro-nutrient when it comes to burning fat and losing weight. If weight loss is your primary goal, then adding protein is possibly the single most effective change you can make to your diet. Not only will it help you lose weight, it also mitigates regaining weight if you ever decide to abandon your weight loss strategy.

One study showed that the amount and quality of protein consumed was inversely related to fat in the belly. Said differently, people who consumed more and cleaner lean proteins had much less belly fat. This study also showed that refined carbs and oils were linked to increased amounts of belly fat, while fruits and vegetables are linked to reduced amounts of fat. Many of the studies indicate protein to be effective had protein at 25–30% of calories, which should be your macro-nutrients goal.  Therefore, you should make an effort to increase your intake of high-protein foods like legumes, nuts, fruits, vegetables, spirulina, quinoa, nut butters, oats and oatmeal. These are the best vegan protein sources in the diet. If you struggle with getting enough protein in your diet, then a premium protein supplement (like organic plant-based protein powders) is a healthy and convenient way to boost your total intake.  Increasing your amount of consuming quality proteins can boost your metabolism and reduce hunger levels, making it a very effective way to lose weight.

Eat High-Fiber Superfoods.
 Dietary fiber is mostly indigestible plant matter. Many studies have shown that eating plenty of fiber can help with weight loss, but it's important to keep in mind that not all fiber is created equal. Soluble and viscous fibers--fibers that bind water and form a thick gel that lays in the gut--have an effect on your weight. This gel can dramatically slow the movement of food through your digestive system and slow down the digestion and absorption of nutrients. The end result is a prolonged feeling of fullness and reduced appetite and the reduction of harmful belly fat. The best way to get more fiber is to eat a lot of plant foods like vegetables and fruit. Legumes are also a good source, as well as oatmeal and oats.

Implement an Exercise Regimen. Exercise is important for various reasons, especially if you want to live a long, healthy life and avoid disease. Aside from all the amazing benefits that exercise provides, it is also very effective at reducing belly fat.  One of the biggest misconceptions is that if you want to lose tummy fat, that you need to do abs exercises--this could not be further from reality. Reducing fat in one spot of the body is not possible, therefore doing countless ab exercises will not assist in you losing those love handles any faster. Other types of aerobic exercises--like walking, running, swimming--have been shown to cause major reductions in stomach fat in numerous studies. Another study found that exercise completely prevented people from re-gaining abdominal fat after weight loss, suggesting that exercise is particularly important to keep the weight off after bikini season.

On everyone's vacation "to do" list is a flatter tummy. Although it's exceedingly unfortunate, fat loss doesn't come in the latest swimsuit collection of Emilio Pucci. You have to work for it, exercising regularly and eating a healthy diet. In short, to burn lower belly fat, reduce your calorie intake, cut out sugary and carb-heavy foods and drinks, eat more quality proteins and fiber, strength train and get regular cardiovascular.  

Clean Home for Better Health

SANO Editorial

There is peace and satisfaction that comes with being in a clean, non-cluttered environment or home.  Generally speaking people who think their homes are well-organized typically were happy and at ease providing a connection between a clean house and overall mental well-being. Some of the primary benefits a clean home include better sleep, increased probability of eating healthier, rids allergies and toxins, increases overall energy, functionality and productivity, and last but not least, the activity of cleaning your home improves your mind and body.  Below are some of our simple daily, weekly, monthly, seasonal and yearly cleaning tasks to keep you feeling your best self.   

Daily Cleaning.   If you’re not making you bed every morning, you’ve set your day up for failure.  There is nothing more rewarding after a long day then climbing into a made bed.  Additional 2-4 minute daily tasks include not leaving dirty dishes in the sink, wiping down counters and bathroom sinks. 

Weekly Cleaning.  We highly value the place where you spend approximately one-third of your life, so why not make sure you have clean sheets on a weekly basis.  Vacuuming and dusting once a week or bi-weekly will remove dust mites and other allergens from your home.  Bathrooms should also be put on your weekly list and you should never use a bathing towel more than three times.  If you can’t find the time to dedicate one day to these tasks, try spreading them out and completing one area per day.

Monthly/Seasonal Cleaning. While rotating seasonal clothing is very common for most on a semi-annual or quarterly basis, we recommend the cleaning of refrigerators, bathroom shelves and your window treatments monthly.  Wipe your refrigerator with a cloth dampened using a mild dishwashing liquid and water. Certain areas like handles and drawers could harbor sticky fingerprints. For stainless-steel surfaces, use commercial stainless-steel spray and wipe in the direction of the grain.   We also recommend having your bedroom pillows and comforters laundered at least twice a year.

Yearly Tasks.  Keeping your home clean is an ongoing task, so we recommend stretching out big cleaning projects.  Depending on the size of your home, the people and animals living in it and other environmental factors, the replacement of air filters is imperative at least one if not two times per year.  Air quality is critical to overall good health so make sure the air you are breathing in your home is not overlooked.  Other yearly task include cleaning patio or terrace furniture, oven and the purging of important files and other items that you haven’t used during the past year.

Above is a list of chores and tasks that we recommend for a cleaner mind, body and home.  We recommend you go through the rooms of your home and make your own daily, weekly, monthly/seasonal and yearly checklist to gain peace and tranquility, because at the end of the day you step into your home, close the door and leave the noise, confusion, and chaos outside.